One of the places that I’ve always wanted to visit in Portland, OR, is Powell’s City of Books. Powell’s is the kind of bookstore that people in Seattle discuss in the same reverent tones that they use when they’re describing Cody’s in Berkeley or City Light in San Francisco.
It’s not just a bookstore. It’s a destination.
I guess that’s why I was soooo disappointed.
From the outside Powell’s looks pretty low key and you’re really relieved to have escaped the overpowering smell of patchouli and the feeling that maybe Jerry didn’t die, he just moved to Portland and hangs out at the Portland Saturday market.
But a few seconds after you stroll in the door, the zombie phase hits and you start walking around like you’ve been tagged with some kind of stun gun.
Your jaw drops. Your eyes glaze over. Maybe, if you’re like me, you have to quickly lick your lips and wipe your face on your sleeve because you feel something wet on your chin and realize that you’ve been drooling.
The smiling people at the cash register shoot you a knowing glance and graciously hand you a map.
It was wonderful.
To quote Charlie Brown: ARRRRGGGHHHH!
I thought, well, Powell’s!, such a wonderful, extraordinary place, I mean, , well ya know, I guess I was expecting too much.
I would have helped move these books to the proper area myself except that the people that I was with were mortified enough to have me take out my camera and photograph the awful sight.